Lions running backs coach Scottie Montgomery didn't exactly dismiss leaving for job opening at his alma mater

Lions running backs coach Scottie Montgomery spoke to reporters Wednesday, and he was asked about the job opening at his alma mater.

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Detroit Lions being successful comes with the natural consequence that assistant coaches will be pursued for, and ultimately take, head coaching jobs. Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn get a lot of buzz, but assistant head coach/running backs coach Scottie Montgomery is also somewhere on radar as a future NFL head coach.

As much as the upcoming head coach hiring cycle is becoming a topic in the NFL, the coaching carousel is spinning on the college level. That includes a fresh opening at Duke, as Mike Elko left for Texas A&M to replace Jimbo Fisher.

Duke is Montgomery's alma mater. He started in coaching as wide receivers coach there from 2006-2009, and he came back for three years (2013-2015), serving as associate head coach, offensive coordinator, passing game coordinator, quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach over that latter span.

What Scottie Montgomery said, and didn't say, about job opening at Duke

Montgomery obviously does not talk to the media a lot as a running backs coach. But in a stroke of ideal timing for Lions' beat writers, as he was listed by the Charlotte Observer as a candidate to replace Elko, he did so on Wednesday.

Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Montgomery declined to say if Duke has reached out to him about replacing Elko.

"I won’t say whether I have or have not heard from them," Montgomery said. "I do like professional football, for a lot of reasons. I've always wanted to compete at the highest level but you still, you can’t say what you will or will not do until that thing comes along or it doesn’t come along."

Montgomery added how the NFL offseason is different (less stressful?), and that his family enjoys the fact he's coaching in the NFL. After several years coaching at the college level, this is his third season back in the pros after serving as the Indianapolis Colts' running backs coach in 2021 and 2022. From 2010-2012, he was wide receivers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Montgomery added how much Duke means to him (h/t to MLive).

"(Duke means) a helluva lot, right?” he said. “Kind of shaped me from a person who came from a small town in North Carolina, it gave me an ability to blossom through not only education, but meeting people that have a direct influence on my future path. So, a helluva lot. I learned how to work there, I learned how to work through situations there."

If there was any doubt, Dan Campbell quickly shut the door on any rumors attaching him to the then-job opening at his alma mater (Texas A&M). Montgomery did not do that on Wednesday, saying instead...

"You can’t say what you will or will not do until that thing comes along or it doesn’t come along."

Montgomery is not the first coach, and he won't be the last, to dance around the idea when asked about a job opening they can be or have been attached to. It doesn't mean he's leaving to take the job at Duke, but he did not take the opportunity to shut down the idea either.

dark. Next. 5 candidates to replace Ben Johnson as Lions offensive coordinator if he leaves for a head coaching job. 5 candidates to replace Ben Johnson as Lions offensive coordinator if he leaves for a head coaching job

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